An Analysis of an Article on the Culture of the Nacirema, the Citizens of the United States of America

The article describes the culture of the Nacirema as being “…very poorly understood” (par 2) and that their cultural significance has only recently come into light. On a daily basis they follow precise and specific rituals that they have created. But, through the mentions of rudimentary terms like “medicine men” and “ magic potions” (par 6) one‘s attention may be diverted away from the fact that lies in front of them The Nacirema are Americans Rituals are an ingrained part of daily activities for the Nacirema.

Their overall health has created a system in which they take extreme precautions to follow and they even have “shrines” in their dwellings to establish privacy. The article discusses the importance of oral health to them, describing it as a “mouth-rite” (par 10) They use a “small bundle of hog hairs” (par 10) to cleanse their mouth. This easily can be translated to what is normally called “brushing teeth”.

Also in their shrine they take “charms and magic potions” prescribed to them by the “medicine man” (par 6).

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These antidotes apparently heal and illness or adverse feelings; while their ingredients are unknown to the common Nacirema, they still use them I personally avoid conventional medicine when I can; 1 do not think taking what the “medicine man” has prescribed will truly heal me butjust put the symptoms at bay so I opt for the homeopathic approach. But, this does not sway most ofAmerica so they take whatever is given to them by doctors. When the article was written, America was a very different place.

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The world and nation as a whole has drastically changed between 1956 and 2015; that is 59 years of wars, economic instability, and cultural upheaval to endure. The Nacirema have definitely morphed in many aspects of their life. Socially, women have more prominence in important matters.

They are increasingly being encouraged to venture into a “man’s” job like science. They can also even have their own credit card and it is ok for them to not be married at the ages of thirty-five and up. The major way current day Americans differ from the Nacirema would be the new developments and technology; the use of smartphones is now practically a standard across the board, and it is almost unheard of for a house to not have an HD television or laptop. The Nacirema are currently in a technologically driven age and it will only advance from here, so they have definitely changed and morphed since 1956. Americans and the Nacirema are the same group of people. Over the years, the group has changed socially, politically, and culturally but we still fall back on the same rituals and practices As technology advances, customs and culture will change with the times As a country, we will continue to prosper and grow; our morals and standards may change but we will always be American.

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An Analysis of an Article on the Culture of the Nacirema, the Citizens of the United States of America. (2022, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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